The Girl in the White Van – April Henry, Henry Holt and Company, (9781250157591), 2020
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Savannah’s mother moves to a different place to take up with yet a new guy every so many months. She is 16 and in Portland, Oregon which she really likes. She wants to stop moving. She is really enjoying taking kung fu lessons. And her mother’s latest boyfriend is less than desirable. Leaving kung fu class one evening, she is kidnapped and taken to a trailer in a junk yard in the boonies where another girl, Jenny, has been for the past ten months, also kidnapped by a guy called Sir whose dog has ravaged Jenny’s face. They are locked in with no way out – until Savannah finally finds one.
Anything you did not like about the book? No. This is not an easy story to read and I felt some things were quite a stretch – but April Henry provides an Afterward explaining just how true every one of her details is and the people she consulted to get her facts straight..
To whom would you recommend this book? Going out on a limb here, I would say that many teen girls would find this interesting reading, sensationalistic. April Henry has gained a reputation for true-to-life edge of your seat stories and this one does not disappoint.
Who should buy this book? Public, middle school and high school libraries
Where would you shelve it? YA fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not the top, no, but a very compelling read.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review
Date of Review: 8/22/2020
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